Free, floating and ethereal tones encompass this second release from Matthew Macaulay, LifeLight. Macaulay hopes the album will “help people by giving them something that lights the way, something that draws them home … for He is Life and his Light is the light that I want to live by.” Alluding to John 1:4 (“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”), LifeLight does a good job capturing the never-resting, mysterious, intangible Spirit of God. To get there on a sonic level, Macaulay makes use of a good amount of echo and reverb with pads from the synth and 16th note guitar riffs. With vocals and drums pulled back in the mix, the impact on the listener is soft, spacious, and weightless, devoid of any hard-hitting rhythms. Regardless, each song is powerfully dynamic, leading from the quietist piano to the loudest forte. Occasionally an organ, some horns, and even a clarinet can be heard in addition to a few simple and refreshing songs accompanied solely by the rhythmic 8th notes of a grand piano. The devotional art continually points to Christ as, song after song, the lyrics give full definition to the title of the record: He is the light, and He is the redemption of the world. For the best worship service fit, try “There Is a Name.” A mix between the haunting melodies of Phil Wickham and electric, Christ-centered effect of Hillsong, LifeLight is a must listen.
More: Filled with ambience and modern synth rock, it’s quite refreshing to get a worship release that isn’t completely awash in electric guitars. Plus, go to his website to get chord charts for every song.
Less: There is a somewhat repetitive rhythmic structure to the songs.